US President Joe Biden said Thursday he is open to holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since the Ukraine invasion, but only if he wants to end the war. Biden was speaking during a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, APA reports citing the Independent.
At a joint news conference, Biden said, "I'm prepared to speak with Mr. Putin if, in fact, there is an interest in him deciding he's looking for a way to end the war. He hasn't done that yet."
"If that's the case, in consultation with my French and my NATO friends, I'll be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he has in mind. He hasn't done that yet."
Both Biden and Macron also vowed support for Ukraine and pledged to hold Moscow accountable for war crimes.
"There's one way for this war to end, the rational way. Putin to pull out of Ukraine, number one. But it appears he's not. Bombing nurseries, hospitals, and children's homes. It's sick what he's doing," he said.
"The idea that Putin is ever going to defeat Ukraine is beyond comprehension," Biden said.
"He's miscalculated every single thing he initially calculated."
Before Russia invaded Ukraine in February earlier this year, Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken both warned it of consequences if it attacked.
Meanwhile, Macron told reporters that he planned to talk to Putin about the security of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia plant in Ukraine.